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Off-The-Shelf vs. Custom Cable Assemblies
If a current job involves a specialized project or application, it could be easier to purchase custom cable assemblies, rather than trying to retrofit an off-the-shelf option. Educating yourself on the options is the best way to make sure you get what you expect and what you need. Usually, there isn’t much difference in the quality of the two types of products, since your supplier should have been vetted before you even consider making a bid with them for either option. They should have a representative that can go over all of your specs with you and recommend solutions available that you might not have even thought to consider. Before you can get to that stage, however, you first have to learn a little about the options on your own.
Especially with industrial or commercial projects, there are typically extra needs that an off-the-shelf option simply can’t meet. You first need to sit down with your team and decide exactly what is required. It is important to know what stresses the cable will need to endure. This includes exposure to weather elements, resistance to dust or dirt, tension, or special conditions of extreme heat, cold, water depths, or corrosive chemicals. Custom cable assemblies have a wide range of options for insulation, shielding, jackets, fillers, connectors, and conductors. Take note of quantity, sizes, gauges, jacket type, insulation type, connectors, and wire stripping. Determine the specs needed for your product to work safely and within your specific industry standards. Consider what will be required by OSHA, Mil-Spec, or RoHS. This list of components and attributes needs to be specific and complete for an accurate final decision to be made.
When the final picture is created of the exact kind of cable that would be perfect, the search for cost comparisons can start. Contact your preferred vendor for cable components. Review their off-the-shelf options and see if any are available in the styles and quantities that you need. Also, consider the lead times for the project. Rush orders will still need time for construction for custom cable assemblies that an off-the-shelf product wouldn’t require. Make note of any changes that will need to be made to your product’s design, or to the cable assembly in order for a non-custom option to work. If this list of adjustments is reasonable, your search could be over and decision made.
If more time and money needs to be spent in order for off-the-shelf to work, then it is time to contact the cable vendor rep for a quote on custom cable assemblies. Send the specs that you and your team came up with and provide as much detail about the final product as possible. Because of their industry experience, the rep will likely have a few options to help make a custom and cost-effective solution. By having a product that meets or exceeds all of your needs, you can assure that your product will not only work well, but that your customer will remain happy and coming back for more. In the world of business, there is no room for poorly constructed products, even in a tight economy. It is better to pay for a good quality item that works than to purchase inadequate parts that create an unsafe or faulty final product.
If you would like to learn more about custom cable assemblies, visit LoDan Electronics, Inc.
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